These days, the best frozen family dinners are nothing like the meals you ate in front of the TV growing up. Combining amazing ethnic flavors with exceptional texture and taste, these meals are sure to please everyone in your family. One of these may be just what you need on the next hectic weekday evening.
Best Frozen Slow Cooker Meal: Omaha Steaks Beef Stew
Dinner can be as simple as tossing a frozen slow cooker meal into your Crock Pot and letting it cook while you go about your day. If you love using your slow cooker but don't have time to prep the ingredients, Omaha Steaks Italian Red Wine Beef Stew is a great alternative. It serves four and retails for about $30, and its delicious taste and generous serving sizes were a hit with those who tried it. As an added bonus, this meal is gluten-free.
Best Comfort Food: Harry & David Chicken Pot Pie
When you need comfort food and don't have time to cook, you can treat yourself to this pot pie that tastes like it was made by your grandmother. The Harry & David Chicken Pot Pie, which serves six and sells for about $40, is more expensive than the standard frozen pot pies in your supermarket, but the flaky crust, white meat chicken, tender veggies, and delicate gravy take it to a whole new level. Many reviewers call it the best pot pie they've ever had, saying it beats out homemade alternatives.
Best Frozen Family Dinner for Special Occasions: Williams Sonoma Salmon Florentine
You don't always have time to cook a big family dinner for special occasions, especially if they happen in the middle of the week. Although its price of about $110 seems high, Williams Sonoma Salmon Florentine en Croute is less costly than a restaurant meal for eight to 12 people and just as tasty. The flakey salmon and spinach is wrapped in a charming salmon-shaped pastry crust. It's beloved by those who have tried it, since it cooks up golden brown and earns rave reviews from dinner guests.
Best Vegetarian Frozen Dinner: Gardein Savory Stuffed Meat-Free Turk'y and Gravy
Frozen vegetarian food is getting easier to find. If you want a vegetarian version of a classic turkey dinner, this meatless stuffed turkey meal is an excellent choice. Gardein Savory Stuffed Meat-Free Turk'y and Gravy is stuffed with cranberries, grains, and veggies to create a special meatless main dish the whole family will like. It sells for about $10 in grocery stores.
Best Macaroni and Cheese: Beecher's World's Best Mac & Cheese
Made by a speciality cheese company, Beecher's World's Best Mac & Cheese appeals to grownups and kids alike. Using penne pasta instead of the standard macaroni and a more complex sauce with fine artisan cheeses and a hint of spice, this is a guaranteed hit. Reviewers note that it tastes better than homemade. It retails for about $15 for a family-sized serving.
Best Gluten-Free: Amy's Rice Mac 'n Cheese
Gluten-free frozen food can vary in quality, but this gluten-free frozen mac 'n cheese will please everyone in your family. The editors at Bon Apetit note that they prefer the texture of the rice pasta in this frozen family meal, even over traditional gluten-containing pasta. Amy's Rice Mac 'n Cheese retails for under $10 for a family size and is available in most grocery stores.
Best Low-Carb Frozen Family Meal: Trader Joe's Crab Cakes
If you're watching carbs, Women's Health Magazine recommends Trader Joe's Crab Cakes. Surprisingly, they contain only three grams of carbs per serving, and they have 13 grams of protein and no fat. On top of this, reviewers rave about the taste. If your family likes crab, this is a good bet for a main dish. You can only buy these crab cakes in stores.
Healthiest Frozen Family Meal: Amy's Vegetable Lasagna
You can still eat frozen food on a diet if you choose healthy options. Cooking Light calls Amy's Family Size Vegetable Lasagna one of the healthiest frozen family meals you can buy. A tangy tomato sauce gives it plenty of flavor, and the noodles have a great texture. There's no meat in this dish, but it's such a crowd-pleaser, no one will miss it. It's only 320 calories per serving, and you can buy it in grocery stores for about $10.
Best for Picky Eaters: Caulipower Pizza
Working Mother lists Caulipower pizza as one of the best healthy options for a picky family. This pizza combines kid-pleasing taste with plenty of healthy vegetables and a crispy cauliflower crust. It retails for about $10 and comes in nine different flavors.
Best Inexpensive Frozen Family Meal: O! That's Good Chicken Alfredo
At only about six dollars, this delicious entree from Oprah's O! That's Good brand is a crowd pleaser and an incredible value. It includes white meat chicken, sauce with hidden veggies, and pasta that holds its texture beautifully. You can find it in most grocery stores.
Best Classic Crowd Pleaser: Stouffer's Lasagna With Meat Sauce
Although there's nothing fancy about this classic frozen lasagna, there's a reason it's been popular for decades. You'll find it has the same delicious and comforting taste it did when you were a child, and everyone at the table will love it. Stouffer's Family Size Lasagna retails for about $11 at any grocery store.
Best Indian Frozen Dinner: Amy's Thai Red Curry
In addition to being gluten-free and vegetarian, Amy's Thai Red Curry gets rave reviews for its from-scratch curry taste and smooth coconut milk base. Tofu adds protein, and fresh veggies give it plenty of authentic color. It's a sweet curry and is only mildly spicy, making it less likely to offend the picky eaters in your family. A family size box retails for under $10 and is available in grocery stores.
Best Italian: Bertolli Chicken Florentine & Farfalle
This crowd-pleasing Italian dish is a great value at only about eight dollars. It includes pasta, white meat chicken, spinach, and a sauce everyone in the family will love. Reviewers rave about the texture. You can find Bertolli Chicken Florentine & Farfalle at any grocery store.
Best Chinese: Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken
This delicious family meal tastes just like the chicken you get from your favorite Chinese restaurants, but you can pull it out of your freezer and have it ready to eat within minutes. Although you have to separately heat the chicken and sauce, the extra effort is worth it. Reviewers love this dish, which is only avaialable in Trader Joe's stores.
Best Mexican: Amy's Cheese Enchiladas
Although this doesn't have some of the more complex flavors that can make Mexican cuisine great, the simple cheese filling is a great crowd-pleaser when you need to feed the whole family. Amy's Cheese Enchiladas are made of corn, rice, olives, peppers, and other wholesome ingredients, and they retail for about $12 for a family-sized container.
Take Some Stress Out of Busy Evenings
No matter which frozen family meal you choose, make sure you store it properly. How you store frozen food can have a big impact on its taste. Having the best family frozen meals on hand and storing them well is a great way to take some of the stress out of those busy evenings.